Washington, D.C. (July 7, 2020) – The Better World Campaign (BWC) praised the State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Subcommittee passage of Fiscal Year 2021 House State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs funding bill and the work of Chairwoman Nita Lowey and Ranking Member Hal Rogers.

In total, the bill provides $65.87 billion in funding for the Department of State, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), United Nations and other international programs and activities. This is an increase of $8.8 billion above the FY 2020 enacted level and $21.9 billion above the request, with $10.02 billion in emergency funding for coronavirus preparedness, response, and relief globally.

“Right now, the world is facing a catastrophic crisis that highlights the need for strong and collective multilateral action: the COVID-19 pandemic. Currently, the UN system is playing a leading and irreplaceable role in the global response,” said Peter Yeo, President of the Better World Campaign.

“I applaud the leadership of Chairwoman Lowey, for recognizing a fundamental fact–the United Nations is a key ally in countering COVID-19. Combined with the generous bilateral contributions, investing in the UN and key institutions like the World Health Organization, the Global Fund for AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, and Gavi, the Vaccine Initiative, will vastly improve our capacity to keep Americans safe.”

Yeo added, “if we leave coronavirus to spread freely across the globe and in vulnerable settings, we would be placing millions at high risk, whole regions will be tipped into chaos and the virus will have the opportunity to circle back here again and again. Reducing that risk requires full funding to the UN and additional resources for combatting COVID-19. This bill, if enacted, makes a necessary down payment and ensures the UN can continue to be a force multiplier of U.S. efforts.”

“Going forward, we urge the full House Appropriations Committee to support this bill and the Senate Appropriations Committee to follow the important path laid out by the House.”

Specifically, the bill would provide for the following:

  • International Organizations/UN Regular Budget: $1.506 billion to fully fund our assessed Contributions to International Organizations (CIO) and the UN regular budget – an increase of $32 million above the FY 2020 enacted level and $539 million above the President’s budget request. In addition, it includes language stipulating that assessed funding to WHO and all other international organizations shall be made available at the levels the U.S. agreed to less than two years ago.
  • International Organizations & Programs (IO&P): The bill provides $390.5 million for the IO&P account–equal to the FY 2020 enacted level and $390.5 million above the President’s budget request. This funding will be channeled to a range of UN agencies engaged in critical security, humanitarian, and development assistance abroad including UNICEF, the UN Development Program (UNDP), UNFPA, and UN Women. In addition, the bill provides $1.281 billion in additional emergency funding within this account for the UN Global Humanitarian Response Plan. This funding is essential in the UN’s efforts to protect individuals and families in the most vulnerable countries.
  • UN Peacekeeping: $1.456 billion for Contributions for International Peacekeeping Activities (CIPA), $70 million below the FY 2020 enacted level but $377 million above the President’s budget request. While funding at this level ensures current U.S. arrears at the UN – which amount to one billion dollars – are not reduced, the subcommittee included language that could arrest the huge yearly increase in arrears. For the first time since 2013, the bill includes language calling for a full lift of the 25% cap on peacekeeping contributions to allow the U.S. to pay at the level it voted for at the UN. While additional funding is needed to pay our dues this year and outstanding arrears from the past four years, this cap provision, if enacted, would be a hugely important step in allowing the United States to once again honor its obligations at the UN.
  • Global Health: The bill includes $1.56 billion for the Global Fund – equal to the FY 2020 enacted level and $2.1 billion above the President’s budget request. The legislation also provides $750 million for Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance to support the partnership’s efforts to help introduce new and underused child vaccines as well as to finance, procure, and ensure equitable distribution of an eventual COVID-19 vaccine.
  • Family Planning & UNFPA: The bill includes $750 million for family planning – an increase of $175 million above the FY 2020 enacted level and $513 million above the President’s budget request. It also includes $55.5 million for the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) – an increase of $23 million above the FY 2020 enacted level and $55.5 million above the President’s budget request. In addition, the House bill includes the Global HER Act, which would permanently repeal the Global Gag Rule, reinstated by President Trump in January 2017.
  • Environment: The bill includes $500 million in current and prior year funding to assist developing nations in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and pursue adaptation and mitigation policies.

About the Better World Campaign

The Better World Campaign works to foster a strong relationship between the U.S. and the UN to promote core American interests and build a more secure, prosperous, and healthy world. The Better World Campaign engages policymakers, the media, and the American public alike to increase awareness of the critical role played by the UN in world affairs and the importance of constructive U.S.-UN relations.

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Media Contact: 

Erika Briceno Howard | ebriceno@unfoundation.org